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Actress relives local childhood

PUBLISHED: 16:05 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 16:58 25 August 2010

Diana Quick

Diana Quick

ONE OF Britain s best-loved actresses has just published her novel and now tells of her early days at school, saying I ate a worm at nursery - and lived to tell the tale . Diana Quick (below), who grew up in Dartford and attended drama school in Crayfor

ONE OF Britain's best-loved actresses has just published her novel and now tells of her early days at school, saying "I ate a worm at nursery - and lived to tell the tale".

Diana Quick (below), who grew up in Dartford and attended drama school in Crayford, talked to reporters this week. The 62-year-old screen siren, who made her name as Julia alongside Laurence Olivier in Brideshead Revisited revealed how her acting talent was nurtured at Dartford Grammar School for Girls.

She said: "It was probably at Miss Smith's, a kindergarten in Swanley, that one of the little boys challenged me to eat a worm - and I did. Then at six I went to St Margaret's, a preparatory school in Wilmington.

"Two years later we moved to Dartford and my mother said, as I was putting on my uniform in the morning, 'Oh, you're going to have to go on two buses to St Margaret's.' I refused, so I was sent to Wentworth County Primary, which I could walk to with my sister.

"I got into the Grammar School for Girls in Dartford. Miss Davies was my very inspiring English teacher who did school plays and took us to the National Youth Theatre. I didn't get on particularly well with the headmistress. We had written a silly play about St Trinian's and after O levels the German teacher said we could use his classes to rehearse. The headmistress got word of this, forbade it and there was a mutiny."

Her father Leonard died when she was 18 and she cited a lack of knowledge about him as the reason for writing A Tug on the Thread: from the British Raj to the British Stage, published in May. The book details her father's family's life in India and her mixed-race origins.

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